Aug. 7, 2020
Here is the latest edition of Week In Review - a series of weekly messages from the Mayor and City Council to help Richardson residents and businesses keep up to date on events at City Hall. If you would like to sign up to receive this in a weekly e-mail click here.
Throughout the year the City Council or City Plan Commission will hold meetings on topics of significant interest to local neighborhoods or the community in general. Links to view all City Council or City Plan Commission meeting documents that may have topics of interest to you can be found here:
City Council | City Plan Commission
2020-21 Proposed City Budget to Be Presented Monday
The City Manager will present the 2020-21 proposed budget to the City Council Aug. 10 at 6 p.m. The proposed budget total is $287,369,626, a decrease of $1,592,949 or 0.6 percent from the 2019-20 estimated expenditures of $288,962,575. The budget’s development was heavily influenced by the impact of COVID-19.
Key highlights of the proposed budget include:
- Certified Property Tax Appraisal Estimate decrease of 1.81 percent
- Maintains tax rate of $0.62516
- Maintains the Senior Tax Exemption at $100,000
- Includes approximately $5.376 million for street/alley maintenance
- Provides dedicated funding of $412,580 for park maintenance projects
A public hearing on the proposed tax rate will be held at the Aug. 17 City Council meeting and a public hearing on the proposed budget will take place at the Aug. 24 City Council meeting, after which a vote will take place to adopt the budget and the tax rate.
Dallas County Re-opens Small Business Aid Applications
On Monday, Aug. 10, Dallas County will once again begin accepting pre-applications for its Emergency Business Assistance Program (EBAP). Applications will be accepted through Sunday, Aug. 23. EBAP is funded with federal CARES Act dollars and is designed to rapidly provide financial assistance to small businesses located in Dallas County that have been adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and that have been unable to obtain financial assistance to meet all of their business needs. Small businesses may be eligible to obtain a forgivable loan worth up to $50,000.
Small businesses that are interested in applying for financial assistance through EBAP should visit the NDC EBAP website at ndconline.org/ntxsmallbiz/. Because Dallas County expects that the amount of funding requested will exceed the funding available, not all eligible businesses will be invited to submit a full loan application.
SBA Loan Deadline is Aug. 14
Small businesses affected by the straight-line winds, hail and tornado that hit Dallas County last October have until Aug. 14 to apply for an SBA federal disaster loan for economic injury. Loans of up to $2 million are available to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster, regardless of whether the applicant suffered any property damage. Loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that cannot be paid because of the disaster’s impact.
Interest rates are 3.875 percent for businesses and 2.75 percent for private nonprofit organizations, with terms up to 30 years. Loan amounts and terms are set by the SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial condition.
School Districts Finalize Plans for Back-to-School
The Richardson and Plano independent school districts are asking parents to be sure to look up the latest back-to-school information as the start of school draws near. Local campuses are already in the process of distributing school supplies and schedules, and deadlines for virtual or in-person instructional decisions were due this week. Teachers have also been undergoing preparations on how to start classes in the new electronic environment.
Classes start as early as next week for school-age children enrolled in the Richardson and Plano independent school districts, both of which serve portions of the community. With the rapidly changing situation with COVID-19, both districts have made the decision to start the 2020-21 school year in a completely virtual environment for all students. At this time, remote learning will be in effect through Labor Day, with the transition to the face-to-face learning taking place later that week for students who elected to attend school on campus. Instruction will continue online for students that have chosen to do so.
The first day of school for PISD (Collin County) is next week Wednesday, Aug. 12 followed by RISD (Dallas County) Wednesday, Aug. 19.
City Council Updated on Main Street Infrastructure Project
City staff updated the City Council Monday on the Main Street Infrastructure Project, showing photographs of completed projects and work in progress, and discussing future plans. Highlights included:
- The drainage project has been completed, including the box culvert running parallel to the DART line.
- New dedicated turning lanes along Main Street are being created.
- A unique, continuous channel system is being created alongside Main Street for the trees that will be planted; the lined channel will direct the growth of the roots away from touching concrete.
- Construction is underway on the small park areas at both northern corners of the intersection of Greenville Avenue and Main Street. The northeast corner will feature the metal sculpture, “Rising Star,” and the northwest corner will feature a shaded seating/dining area and a water sculpture.
Still to come are more improvements at the Greenville/Main intersection, including new turning lanes and traffic signals, and electric lines placed underground. The project is expected to be substantially completed by March 2021.
Website: www.cor.net/mainstreet (e-newsletter sign-up link at bottom)
Changes Planned for Oct. 6 National Night Out
The Richardson Police Department (RPD) held its annual National Night Out (NNO) Kick-off/Neighborhood Crime Watch Leadership event this week via online video, featuring comments from Police Chief Jimmy Spivey and Mayor Paul Voelker and information about changes to this fall’s event, scheduled for Oct. 6. Rather than encourage block parties and large celebrations, RPD is asking neighborhoods to have residents hold their own personal picnics outside their homes, decorate their yards in a patriotic theme, turn on their porchlights and wave to RPD officers as they drive by. A patriotic mask decorating contest will also be held.
RPD’s “Can-Do” Food Drive, normally held on National Night Out to benefit Network of Community Ministries, will instead be held in September.
NNO Coordinators should register their neighborhood/block online by Sept. 20. For more information, watch the kick-off video here.
Fire Department Receives High Honors for Heart Attack Response
The Richardson Fire Department has received the Mission: Lifeline® EMS Gold Plus Award from the American Heart Association (AHA), which recognized the Department for its success in treating and transporting patients who suffer a type of severe heart attack known as a ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarction (STEMI). This is the fifth consecutive year the department has received a Mission Lifeline® Award. Every year, more than 250,000 people experience a STEMI, which is caused by a complete blockage of blood flow to the heart and requires timely treatment in order to prevent death.
To award Gold recognition, the AHA looks at the percentage of first responders who get STEMI victims from first contact into catheterization surgery in less than 90 minutes at least 75 percent of the time. The Plus designation is given for the percentage of first responders who perform electrocardiograms on STEMI victims within 10 minutes of first contact. Richardson emergency medical personnel exceed the AHA standards in working with Methodist Richardson Medical Center and other area hospitals, achieving at least 90 percent for both measures.
Richardson’s Citizens Academy (CARES) Canceled for 2020
The Richardson Citizens Academy and Resource Education Series (CARES) has been canceled for 2020. Begun in 2018, the free program has provided a way for people to directly access and witness Richardson’s government at work, through weekly presentations and tours held at various municipal buildings. Participants get to know the people who oversee the day-to-day operation of the departments that provide key services such as roads, water and sewer service, parks, emergency medical services and law enforcement.
The program was the fulfillment of a 2017-19 City Council tactic within the strategy “to increase the sense of community and citizen engagement.” It is usually held in the fall, with applications opening in the summer. Keep up with Week in Review and Richardson Today for future information.
RCPAAA Awards Scholarships
The Richardson Citizen Police Academy Alumni Association (RCPAAA) has announced the winners of the 2020 RCPAAA scholarships. The winners, chosen for their excellent academic performance and achievements and potential for future success (as predicted by standardized testing, personal recommendations and leadership traits evident by their essay content and extra-curricular/volunteer activities) are:
- Athena Foteini Hawkins, daughter of Anna Foteini Hawkins and Richardson Police Sergeant Claude Locke
- Michael Joseph Hansen, son of Jennifer and Richardson Police Officer Paul Hansen
- Rachel Danielle Nors, daughter of retired Richardson Police Sergeant Daniel Nors and Plano Police Department Lieutenant Alicia Nors
Over the last 15 years, the RCPAAA has awarded $47,000 in scholarships to college-bound or current college students who are family members of RPD employees. Funds are achieved through private donations and fundraisers.
Sales Tax Holiday Continues through Aug. 9
The annual back-to-school Tax-Free Weekend began today, Aug. 7 and runs through Sunday, Aug. 9. In Texas, the 2020 event exempts most clothing, footwear, school supplies and backpacks (priced under $100) from sales and use taxes. To promote social distancing, the Texas Comptroller’s office wants all taxpayers to know that during the Tax-Free Weekend, you can buy qualifying items online or by telephone, mail, custom order or any other means (including in-store purchases) tax-free.
Some exclusions apply; go to www.TexasTaxHoliday.org for more information and a complete list of qualifying items.
Network Volunteers Still Needed
Requests for assistance at local nonprofit Network of Community Ministries remain high and the organization is in need of volunteers to help meet the demand. Volunteers are needed for the Food Pantry, Clothing Closet and home food deliveries. Masks, gloves and social distancing measures are in place. Interested volunteers can sign up at www.thenetwork.org/get-involved.
Richardson Today in Mailboxes this Weekend
The August issue of Richardson Today has been mailed and should begin arriving in mailboxes this weekend. The issue has a Back-to-School focus with complete RISD and PISD school calendars; information about on-campus and virtual learning; after-school programs and extra-curricular activities; and school supply drives.
Richardson Today is mailed to every residence in the city. Keep up with Richardson Today stories as they happen, including video, at www.RichardsonToday.com. A digital version of the print edition of Richardson Today may also be accessed there. Ask your local mail carrier if you do not receive your copy of Richardson Today and you live within the boundaries of Richardson.
Evening Lane Closure Near Arapaho/Custer
The right lane of westbound Arapaho Road at Custer Road may be closed to traffic from 6:30 p.m.-5 a.m. for a water pipe repair and a fire hydrant replacement. The work is expected to be completed by mid-August.
Lane Closure Near Richardson Heights Village
The right lane of eastbound Belt Line Road between Weatherred Drive and Floyd Road may be closed to traffic from 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. due to curb and gutter installation work. The work is expected to be completed by mid-August.
School Supply Drive Underway
The RISD Partners Program is collecting school supplies for families in need. Cash or check donations are also accepted. Donations can be dropped off at the RISD Administration Building, 400 S. Greenville Ave., from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Thursday.
SCHOOL SUPPLIES NEEDED:
- Facial tissues
- Manila and construction paper
- Binders (3 inch)
- Composition books
- Notebook paper
- Spiral notebooks (1 subject)
- Two-pocket folders
- #2 pencils
- Colored pencils
- Pink bevel erasers
- Washable markers
- Black, blue and red pens
- Glue sticks/4 oz. glue bottles
- Children’s scissors
- Watercolor paints
- Zippered supply bags
- Plastic pencil boxes
Contact: Lisa Andrews, 469-593-0301 or email@example.com
Summer Camps Wrap Up
Richardson’s Summer Day Camp Program came to a close this week as Playground Camp finished its final session for 2020 (Kinder and Elementary camps ended July 31). The camps operated at lower capacity this summer, with enhanced safety protocols in place and provided a lower counselor to camper ratio and more personalized attention.
Registration is still open for the last week of Summer Slam Tennis Camp, held at Huffhines Tennis Center 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Aug. 10-14 for ages 5-16. Visit www.cor.net/parksonline, choose activity #19015.
Parks and Recreation’s Summer Games Begin
The Parks and Recreation Department kicked off its Summer Games: Family Challenge this week with a water balloon toss activity called “Bump, Set, Burst.” Families were challenged to see how many times two family members could toss a water balloon back and forth before it burst. A new challenge will be posted on the Department’s Facebook page every Monday throughout August; families are asked to post videos on Facebook or Instagram of their group participating in the challenge by Thursday of each week to be eligible for weekly prizes.
If you missed this week’s deadline, you can still post a video of your fun—all participants receive a special offer from local franchise Nothing Bundt Cakes.
Zoom and Phone Events Offered for Seniors
Seniors can stay connected and engaged this month thanks to several activities hosted by the Parks and Recreation Department’s Senior Center staff. Next week’s activities include:
- “Just Go With It” Improv Hour on Zoom
Tuesday, Aug. 11 at 1 p.m.
Call 972-744-7800 to register.
- “Tell Me Something Good”
Wednesday, Aug. 12 from 10-11 a.m.
Share your good news or something positive; call it in to 972-744-7800. It might be shared on Facebook.
Call 972-744-7800 to register.
- Coffee Chat on Zoom
Thursday, Aug. 13 at 11 a.m.
Call 972-744-7800 to register.
To register for any of these activities and/or for questions, call 972-744-7800. To watch a Zoom tutorial recently posted on Facebook by Parks and Recreation staff, click here.
Online Storytimes Continue
Library staff are continuing to host children’s Storytimes via the Library’s Facebook page. The Storytimes include:
- Storytime Stars, for preschoolers
Posted Wednesdays at 10:30 a.m.
- Wiggle Worms, for toddlers
Posted Thursdays at 10:30 a.m.
- Baby Storytime, for babies
Posted Tuesdays at 10:30 a.m.
Each videotaped session includes activities, such as songs, fingerplays and/or movement, along with stories. In addition, special “Art Time Storytimes” are posted for all ages, which include a craft related to a book.
“Like” and “Follow” the Library’s Facebook page to stay up-to-date on all Storytimes.
Pandemic Altered Book Art Journal Workshop
Document the pandemic and how it has affected you and relieve some stress with a new creative workshop series developed and presented by Library staff on Facebook. The series began today (Aug. 7) and more how-to videos will be posted on Fridays at 3:30 p.m. Learn how to turn an old, unused book into a beautiful journal that you can fill with sketches, words, whatever you want—that tells the story about what is happening in the world today and in your own life!
Cottonwood Art Festival Goes Virtual
Though canceled this year due to the pandemic, the Cottonwood Art Festival 2020 lives on through its website, social media and e-newsletter. At the website, there’s an online gallery and a blog with featured articles about Cottonwood artists, and on social media (including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter) you’ll find videos and colorful images of art.
The weekly e-newsletter, entitled, “Café,” is free and features information about Cottonwood artists and direct links to their websites. Recent issues have featured artists working in a variety of mediums including painting, wire sculpture, textiles and “vintage ephemera.” Subscribers also receive announcements such as holiday discount codes, free shipping specials, instructional videos and more.
To sign up for the newsletter, click here.
Eisemann Educates Online: Fun with “Dog Man” Aug. 10-20
The Eisemann Center is presenting an activity series for children and families each week entitled, “Eisemann Educates Online,” hosted by Eisemann Center staff and based on previous “Eisemann Center Presents” Family Theater Series performances. Activities are shared through videos posted on the Eisemann Center’s Facebook page at 2 p.m., Monday, Wednesday and Friday one week and Tuesday/Thursday the next. Themes include Musical Monday, Storytime Tuesday, Boogie Woogie Wednesday, Theater Thursday and Ar’t You Glad It’s Friday.
This month’s activities are based on “Dog Man the Musical,” produced by TheaterWorksUSA and sponsored by Raising Cane’s Richardson.
Upcoming activities include:
- Monday, Aug. 10
Three vocal warm-ups and the “Happy Song” chorus
- Wednesday, Aug. 12
Learn how to “floss” like a boss
- Friday, Aug. 14
Make a pipe cleaner superhero
In addition, “Cane’s Comic Kits” will be available for free in the Eisemann Center lobby, Monday-Friday from 1-4 p.m. starting Monday, Aug. 10.
Rich-Tones Chorus Performs Virtually with Scottsdale Arizona Chorus
The Rich-Tones Chorus, a local women’s barbershop harmony performance group funded in part by Richardson’s Cultural Arts Commission, recently collaborated with the Scottsdale Chorus from Arizona to perform a song together virtually using video conferencing. Fittingly, the song is called, “It’s the Music That Brings Us Together,” and 135 singers joined voices to perform it.
RichardsonToday.com staff recently spoke with Rich-Tones director Dale Syverson and group member Peggy Blake about the project; watch parts of the conversation in a new video online and watch the choral collaboration posted here and at the Rich-Tones Facebook page.
RTC’s “Life, or Something Like It” Debuts
Richardson Theatre Centre ventures to England in its latest installment of its online radio series, “Theatre of the Imagination.” Listen to Episode 4, “Life or Something Like It, Part 1” at RTC’s Facebook and YouTube pages, available free of charge 24/7.
Past installments are available there as well. The series features local talent performing music, songs and short vignettes ranging from classic radio mysteries to original dramas, comedies and supernatural thrillers, each complete with authentic commercials.
Bois d’Arc Lake Shaping Up
Construction continues on Bois d’Arc Lake, being built northeast of Bonham by the North Texas Municipal Water District. Richardson is a member city of the District. When complete in 2022, the 16,641-acre reservoir will be able to initially treat and deliver up to 70 million gallons of water daily.
Crews are currently working on completing the two-mile-long dam as well as the service spillway and raw water intake, and a 35-mile pipeline. The pipeline will carry water to the new treatment plant scheduled to be constructed in Leonard by fall 2021.
In addition, workers are improving or constructing 11 miles of roads around the lake and continuing to mitigate loss of habitat and impacts to local streams in the more than 17,000 surrounding acres.
If work remains on schedule, water delivery from the lake should begin in Spring 2022.
What’s that Bug? Extension Service Helps with Identification
If you’ve ever noticed insects, dead or alive, in or near your home and want to know what they are, the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension service offers a web page called “Insects in the City,” with links to resources that provide help with identification. For example, the Insect Identification Tools link provides images of some of the most common insects submitted to Extension offices around Texas and a space to upload your own image for identification.
Animal Shelter Pet of the Week
Our longest resident dog Peanut, just got adopted! Help our longest resident cat Tori get adopted as well! She is a sweetheart with a shy temperament. When she first arrived at the Shelter, she hid all the time and did not want to be touched. Since she came to us April 29, she has learned how to come out of her shell little by little each day. She is an adorable cutie who likes head rubs. Once she learns to trust you, she will come and cuddle with you. Tori is a 1-year-old domestic short hair, fully vaccinated, microchipped and waiting to become a part of your family. Come by the Shelter to say hi and fall in love! If you are interested, please call the Shelter at 972-744-4480 to schedule an appointment.
For information about other animals available for adoption, visit the Animal Shelter’s web page here.
City Council Links
To read previous Week in Reviews,